What is the "Down Time" for Facial Fat Injection Procedures?

Doctor Answers 7

Swelling after Fat Grafting

Count on looking puffy for a good week. During the second week you may start to like the way the look and by the third week or so you should be quite happy and probably hoping it stays the way it is. You will likely lose volume as the last bit of swelling resolves around that time, and then lose a bit more volume over the next three to six months. By the six month point you should be looking at a relatively final result. Occasionally at that point I will do a "touch up" if extra fat was harvested. Bottom line: don't make any major plans for 1-2 weeks.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Downtime for facial fat grafting

The downtime for facial fat grafting is very hard to predict from person to person but in general you will look good in 2 weeks.  I find that this procedure does cause a lot of bruising particularly when done around the tear trough which is the most common  place that I inject fat.  I also find that when I'm doing full facial rejuvenation procedures including Facelift, eyelids, brows, etc. ( which is the most common type of procedure I perform) that the fat transfer is the procedure that causes the most bruising and swelling.  Fat transfer is usually billed as a minimal downtime procedure which I agree is true, meaning that you able to function immediately after wards, however, this is misleading because you may look beat up for a substantial period of time.

Jason B. Diamond, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Fat grafting

With age we tend to lose facial fat and the face deflates. Fat transfer is a good procedure in facial rejuvenation planning.

Fat has to be gently taken from one area of the body, processed and cleaned thoroughly, then injected in small pearls in layers in the face.

Recovery is very quick, but is dependant on the experience of the doctor. There is some swelling and bruising that will resolve with in the first two weeks. During that peroid of time you still are very presentable and will be able to hide it with makeup. It is important that you be healthy, on no blood thinners ad no Aspirin. Ice the face after surgery, elevate the head, and no sternous activity. This will help in decreasing the chances of bruises and swelling.

Choose your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon very carefuly

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat Grafting Recovery

The recovery of fat grafting involves 4 things in my opinion:

1.  who is doing your procedure.  i tend to use a lot less fat to get the same results so i tend to have a shorter recovery.  however, that being said, i believe that a lot of little areas need filling to create an overall balanced rejuvenation. because of that, you may have a little more swelling across the entire face than if someone is just filling a small area of the face.  that is another factor is how much of the face needs to be covered.

2.  how old you are.  the older you are typically the more fat is required.  the more fat required, the more swelling and therefore more recovery time. someone in the late 30s and 40s may have less recovery time.  someone in the 50s and 60s may require more time.  how much time?  hard to give you precise answers but see below.

3.  luck.  some people bruise more than others.  i cannot promise you.  you just may.  limiting alcohol, vitamin e, fish oil the week before is helpful but you might still bruise. i use a laser to manage bruising a week out but that is no guarantee all bruising will be gone.

4.  perception.  i have oftentimes seen patients whom i think look great but they do not think so because they are much more critical of themselves than others are of them.  i say conservatively that at 1 week you will most likely not like it and others will not like it.  at 2 weeks you may still not like it but typically most people will think you are fine (cannot promise that) and at 3 weeks it has more universal appeal (for both you and others).

pain and discomfort and not wanting to work are not so much of an issue.  it is mainly swelling and possibly bruising.  watch my video on recovery after fat grafting for a more elaborate and detailed response.


sam lam

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Facial fat transfer

Down time form many procedures is dependent on your reaction to surgery.  For example, swelling and bruising can vary from one patient to another.  However, most people will have some swelling and bruising for 7 to 14 days.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Fat injection downtime

There is some swelling after fat injections that can be mild or severE for a couple of days to even several weeks depending on the number of different planes in which the fat is injected. When fat is placed within the muscle, there seems to be more swelling and bruising.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

A bit more than synthetic facial dermal fillers

Fat as a filler is a great tool for soft tissue augmentation. It is the oldest and when performed and the body "takes it", it may last many many years. Fat needs to be harvested and then injected. This creates 2 areas that needs some downtime, the donor site and the recipient. For the donor site, bruising if it occurs, can last anout 2 weeks. For the recipient, it may take about 2-3 weeks, with swelling and bruising as the major deterrants to the procedure. A repeat procedure requires 6 weeks before fat can be reinjected again.

Hassan Galadari, MD
Dubai Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.